Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nightfall: The Moon of Late

The Moon of Late

I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex,
Go forth at nightfall crying like a cat,
Leaving the lofty tower I laboured at
For birds to foul and boys and girls to vex
With tittering chalk; and you, and the long necks
Of neighbours sitting where their mothers sat
Are well aware of shadowy this and that
In me, that’s neither noble nor complex.
Such as I am, however, I have brought
To what it is, this tower; it is my own;
Though it was reared To Beauty, it was wrought
From what I had to build with: honest bone
Is there, and anguish; pride; and burning thought;
And lust is there, and nights not spent alone.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)
from Huntsman, What Quarry? 1939

Don't miss Cristina Nehring's excellent article
on the life and work of this favorite poet:
"Last the Night: The Abiding Genius of Edna St. Vincent Millay"

Millay is undoubtedly one of the most-mentioned writers in my literary discussions and always one of my top choices for desert island reading, if I had to pick but one or two. Previously on the Quotidian:

1. Delicate Poison 5/17/14

2. Penelope, Who Really Cried 9/28/12
[more on the Fortnightly]

3. Love However Brief 3/1/12
[more on the Fortnightly]

4. Leap Day 2/29/12

5. The Full Truce Moon 12/10/11

6. Sad September 9/28/11
[more on the Fortnightly]

7. Moonrise, Sunset 9/13/11

8. Recuerdo: Apples and Pears 9/5/11
[more on the Fortnightly]

9. Gone On Ahead 3/10/11

10. Insidious Trauma 3/5/11

11. Philosophy of Fall 12/14/10
[more on the Fortnightly]

12. Scarred But Standing 10/13/10
[more on the Fortnightly]

13. The Little Door 7/28/10
[more on the Fortnightly]

14. Love In The Open Hand 5/28/10
[more on the Fortnightly]

15. Kiss Me 3/1/10

16. Thanksgiving Day Thoughts 11/26/09

17. The Spirit Grieves 10/12/09

18. I Do Not Approve, I Am Not Resigned 9/18/09


  1. Leonard Orr writes: "I am always struck by the high quality of your nature and celestial photographs (assuming you are not funded by NASA), as well as the archives of photos and objects you have from your life (including your friends)."

    Thanks Len!

  2. Len, thanks again for your kind words, esp. about my friends. As Shakespeare / Bolingbroke says: " I count myself in nothing else so happy / As in a soul remembering my good friends" [including you & everyone else on this post]!

    Would that I were funded by NASA! I just use a little Canon PowerShot recommended by my niece Sara & my friend Natasha.


    Len writes: You will have to apply to NASA for a large grant (you have rhetoric on your side).

  3. Jan writes: "I started reading the Nehring article and like it very much. I just saved it so I could give it more attention later. Thank you!"